Ohaupo Childcare - 22/03/2012

1. Evaluation

Ohaupo Childcare is a privately owned education and care service located in a rural area south of Hamilton City. The centre caters for children from birth to school age in two separate, age-based areas. It is licensed for 50 children, including up to 15 children under the age of two. At the time of the ERO review there were 65 children on the roll including 15 Māori children and 18 children under two years old. This is the first ERO review of the service, which opened in 2010.

Strong and effective leadership is provided by the centre owner and the manager. Together with staff they have developed and implemented a shared vision and clear direction for the centre, based on positive partnerships and trusting relationships with children, and their families and whānau. This collaborative approach is promoting a calm, settled and inclusive atmosphere where children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Other positive features of the centre identified in this review are:

  • a well-designed and equipped environment that supports children’s learning and care, and enables them to explore and make choices;
  • enthusiastic teachers who make good use of positive and affirming interactions that extend children’s language and thinking skills;
  • responsive care for babies and toddlers that promotes their well-being; and
  • a well-developed learning programme that is focused on children’s identified strengths and interests.

ERO and centre leaders agree that the important areas for review and development are ensuring the provision of a wider range of activities throughout each day, and ensuring babies and toddlers have ready access to their individual portfolios, displays of learning and visual links with their homes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Ohaupo Childcare was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Ohaupo Childcare.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the centre opened in 2010, the owner and centre manager have worked purposefully to establish their vision to provide an environment that challenges and embraces children’s natural curiosity.

Areas of strength

Leadership: The experienced centre manager is well informed about the theory and practice of early childhood education. She is providing effective professional leadership for the centre. The centre owner provides appropriate professional and administrative support. Together with team leaders, they have established a strong and positive team culture, and clear guidelines and expectations for centre operations. Centre leaders have implemented a systematic approach to self review and ensure appropriate appraisal and provision of professional development for staff.

Environment: The centre is well designed and attractively presented to meet the needs of adults and children in two separate age-based areas. Children move easily between spacious indoor and outdoor play spaces. A feature of the environment is the emphasis on the natural world. A wide range of high-quality furniture, equipment and materials promotes children’s independence and exploration. Wall displays are informative for families and allow children to share and revisit their learning.

Programme: Teachers have made good progress in establishing processes for assessment, planning and evaluation. They plan and provide learning and care that is focused on children’s strengths and interests. Children are encouraged to initiate and sustain play with their friends and alongside supportive adults. Care routines are flexible and responsive to the needs of babies, toddlers and older children. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to develop their understanding of literacy and number concepts, as well as science and the wider world. Transitions are well planned and contribute to children’s well-being. High-quality individual portfolios provide a record of children’s learning, development and participation in the programme. Families are kept well informed about the programme and their children’s learning and progress. They have opportunities to participate and to contribute their skills and ideas.

Interactions: Dedicated and enthusiastic teachers foster positive, affirming interactions and relationships with children, families and whänau and their colleagues, which are characterised by mutual respect. They engage the older children in learning conversations to extend their language and thinking skills. Teachers in the under-two area are skilful in enriching the early language of babies and toddlers. Welcoming and inclusive relationships have been established with families and whānau. Responsive interactions are contributing to a calm and settled atmosphere where children are developing their social skills and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Agreed priorities for development and review

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the quality of the programme could be further enhanced by ensuring children have ready access to:

  • a wider range of activities throughout each day;
  • individual portfolios; and
  • displays that ensure children in the under-two area are able to revisit their learning, and links with their home through family images.

In addition, teachers should continue to enrich bicultural perspectives in the centre environment and programme.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs

Although there are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently enrolled in this service, the centre is well placed to enrol them through:

  • a centre philosophy which acknowledges children’s strengths and capabilities;
  • an inclusive policy and clear guidelines relating to children with special needs;
  • an environment and facilities that cater for the special needs of children and their families; and
  • qualified and experienced teachers.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Ohaupo Childcare completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice centre leaders should review procedures relating to the monitoring of:

  • earthquake safety; and
  • food handling.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years. 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Roll number

65

Gender composition

Girls 34

Boys 31

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 47

New Zealand Māori 15

Other 3

Review team on site

January 2012

Date of this report

22 March 2012

Previous ERO reports

This is the first ERO report

To the Parents and Community of Ohaupo Childcare

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s report on Ohaupo Childcare.

Ohaupo Childcare is a privately owned education and care service located in a rural area south of Hamilton City. The centre caters for children from birth to school age in two separate, age-based areas. It is licensed for 50 children, including up to 15 children under the age of two. At the time of the ERO review there were 65 children on the roll including 15 Māori children and 18 children under two years old. This is the first ERO review of the service, which opened in 2010.

Strong and effective leadership is provided by the centre owner and the manager. Together with staff they have developed and implemented a shared vision and clear direction for the centre, based on positive partnerships and trusting relationships with children, and their families and whānau. This collaborative approach is promoting a calm, settled and inclusive atmosphere where children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Other positive features of the centre identified in this review are:

  • a well-designed and equipped environment that supports children’s learning and care, and enables them to explore and make choices;
  • enthusiastic teachers who make good use of positive and affirming interactions that extend children’s language and thinking skills;
  • responsive care for babies and toddlers that promotes their well-being; and
  • a well-developed learning programme that is focused on children’s identified strengths and interests.

ERO and centre leaders agree that the important areas for review and development are ensuring the provision of a wider range of activities throughout each day, and ensuring babies and toddlers have ready access to their individual portfolios, displays of learning and visual links with their homes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)